Monday, October 15, 2012

Just the Food, Ma'am - 10/15/12

Tostones and bacon

The Best Chicken You Will Eat. Ever.
Turkish Chopped Salad

Oven baked salmon
Stir fried broccoli

Just the Food, Ma'am - 10/14/12

Leftover meatloaf

I wasn't hungry again so I had a Larabar and some tuna with garlic aioli.

Boring poached chicken breast and steamed broccoli.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Just the Food, Ma'am - 10/13/12

Chicken baja style - a riff on the guts from Baja Fresh's baja style chicken tacos. I should probably post this recipe so I remember to make it again.

Same as breakfast

Veggie loaded meatloaf
Baked sweet potato fries

Friday, October 12, 2012

Just the Food, Ma'am - 10/12/12

Same as yesterday: two scrambled eggs with veggies & hot sauce
Sugar-free sausage

I wasn't hungry so I had a Larabar and some bacon. Didn't feel like that was photo worthy.

NY Strip Steak sauteed in herb and garlic butter
Baked sweet potato with butter and pumpkin pie spice
Sauteed onions and mushrooms
Kale chips

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Just the Food, Ma'am - 10/11/12

Two scrambled eggs with peppers, onion, green onion, mushrooms, and tomatoes
Hot sauce
Sugar-free sausage

The rest of the roasted spaghetti squash with sausage and marinara.

I sauteed some chicken breast with onions and served it up with roasted broccoli and garlic, and promptly forgot to take a photo before I fed my face. Yay!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Just the Food, Ma'am - 10/10/12

Two scrambled egg whites and one scrambled egg with hot sauce
Two sugar-free yuck-free sausage links
One leftover Stuffed Acorn Squash
Honeycrisp apple
Coconut butter

Leftover roasted spaghetti squash with marinara sauce and sauteed sugar-free ick-free sausage

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Sick! Bummer.

I started coming down with some stomach bug last night that's continuing into today, so I haven't been too hungry. I'm still on track with what I've managed to keep down, however.


Just the Food, Ma'am - 10/8/12

Leftover orange and shallot glazed pork chop
Leftover butternut squash noodles
Leftover oven baked Brussels sprouts with bacon
Leftover mashed turnips

Shredded Beef Roast on a Pure Wrap with spinach and garlic and rosemary aioli.
Cucumbers with garlic and rosemary aioli.

Roasted spaghetti squash
Marinara Sauce
Sauteed sugar-free ick-free sausage

Monday, October 8, 2012

Shredded Beef Roast

3-lb boneless beef roast

2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp dried oregano, crushed
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
10 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup beef broth

Mix spices and garlic together in a bowl. Rinse off roast and dry thoroughly. Rub spice mixture into all sides of the roast with your hands and place roast in a slow cooker. Add broth to slow cooker. Set on low for 8-10 hours.

I've been eating this stuff on butter lettuce or pure wraps with garlic rosemary aioli and spinach like it's my job. It's so good.

But WHY do I want the cookies?

I almost had a major malfunction today.

Here where I work, it isn't too dissimilar from the Seinfeld episode where Elaine flips out on her co-workers for celebrating every little thing (new baby, birthday, returning from a sick day, positive eval, etc.) with cake. We do cake here a lot. At least three times a week, you can find remnants of birthday cakes, cupcakes, and donuts in one of the two main kitchens.

In my heyday, it wasn't uncommon for me to scoop up a piece of cake, sometimes even going back for seconds when the sugar rush wore off. It was gross and I always felt shitty about it.

We also have two vending machines full of absolute garbage two doors away from my office in the mail room. I've asked repeatedly for the vending company to add some healthy choices, but our ideas of healthy are vastly different. Jerky means Slim Jims, and nuts mean honey roasted peanuts or Paydays. Don't get me started on the Snackwells, animal crackers, and fat free gummy candy.

I was standing in the mail room distributing some things when out of the corner of my eye, I saw them.
They were doing the dance of the sugary cookie. Bounce, bounce, sashay. I wanted those damn cookies. More than I remembered wanting any other food.

I stood, paralyzed by the mailboxes, afraid of moving one step closer to the vending machine. I started rationalizing about why I could have them. I mean, I could always get back on track tomorrow. No big deal. Also, they are only $1. One measly dollar for all of those cookies? Come on. I knew I had a bundle of singles in my purse after someone wanted a large bill exchanged. The money was just in my office. I could go get it, and buy the cookies, and  it would be fine. Just fine...

Like something you'd see in a movie, a co-worker walked into the room hopefully unaware of my struggle, stepped up to the vending machine, fed it a dollar, and bought the freaking cookies. It was the last package.

Part of me wanted to tackle him and take them from him, and the other part of me wanted to cry. So I went to the bathroom and had a few snivels, then stepped back out to resume my day.

Fuck you, sugar. I win.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

1 acorn squash, halved, seeded, and a slice cut off of the other side to make them steady in the cooking pan
2 tbsp coconut oil, divided
2 sweet-tart apples, or whatever kind you want
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
Black pepper, to taste

Heat oven to 400F. Brush cut sides of squash with 1 tbsp of the coconut oil and sprinkle with black pepper. Bake for 50 minutes to an hour in the oven until fork tender.

While squash is baking, heat remaining tbsp of coconut oil in a medium skillet. Add apples and onion, and saute until tender. Add garlic and stir until fragrant. Add cinnamon, cumin, and salt, and remove from heat.

Spoon apple filling into the baked squash and return to the oven for another 15 minutes.

Delicata Chipotle Chili

This recipe has been adapted somewhat from the Chocolate Chili recipe from The Clothes Make the Girl / Well Fed. The squash gives the chili a bean-like mouth feel, which my boyfriend greatly appreciated since he's not a Paleo eater.

2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 medium onions, diced
2 delicata squash, cut into 1/2" cubes (leave skin on)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds ground meat (I used a meatloaf mix of beef, pork, and veal)
1 tsp oregano
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp chipotle chili powder
2 tbsp cumin
1-1/2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp salt
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
2 cans (14.5 ounces) fire-roasted, chopped tomatoes
2 cans (14.5 ounces) beef broth
1 cup water

Heat a large stock pot over medium-high heat, then add the coconut oil. When the oil is melted, add onions, stir with a wooden spoon and cook until translucent. Add the squash until lightly browned. Add the garlic and after 30 seconds, crumble the ground meat into the pan with your hands, mixing with the wooden spoon to combine. Continue to cook the meat, stirring often, until it’s no longer pink.

In a small bowl, mix oregano, chili powders, cumin, cocoa, allspice, and salt. Mix well and add to the pot until thoroughly incorporated. Add tomato paste and stir until combined, about 2 minutes.

Add the undrained tomatoes, beef broth, and water to the pot. Stir well. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat so the chili enjoys a gentle simmer. Simmer uncovered for no less than two hours.

I topped mine with halved cherry tomatoes, green onions, and some coconut milk to cut the spice.

Just the Food, Ma'am - 10/7/12

Egg over medium
Leftover Brussels sprouts with bacon
Sweet Potato Chips

Pure Wrap stuffed with Shredded Beef Roast, spinach, and garlic and rosemary aioli.
Steamed broccoli with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Unbreaded skin-on chicken wings fried in coconut oil and tossed in black pepper and lemon zest. Forgot the photo again. They were that good.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sweet Potato Chips

2 cylindrical shaped sweet potatoes
1/2 to 3/4 cup of coconut oil
1 tsp finely ground sea salt (I used pink Himalayan)
1 clove garlic
1 sprig fresh rosemary
Zest of one lemon

Heat oil in a cast iron pan over medium heat until hot. There should be about a half inch of oil in the pan once it's melted. While oil is heating, peel the sweet potatoes and slice both ends if necessary to make them flat. With a mandoline set on 1/8", slice sweet potatoes into rounds.

Peel garlic clove and strip leaves from rosemary sprig. Chop the rosemary and garlic together until finely minced, and mix with the salt and lemon zest in a small bowl.

Once oil is hot, add slices of sweet potato (enough to fill the pan without crowding). After 2-3 minutes, flip slices and cook 2-3 minutes more or until browned and curled at the edges. Remove from the pan and let drain on paper towels or paper bags. Sprinkle with salt mixture while still hot and move onto a plate. Repeat with remaining potatoes until done.

Work Share!

A few weeks ago, I started working at an organic farm on Saturdays for their work share program.
We get there super early (the roosters are still crowing), load up the truck full of food and supplies, drive out to the farmers market site, set up, sell sell SELL for about 3-1/2 hours,  break down (not emotionally), and head back to the farm to unload the truck.

In exchange, I get the weekly CSA amount of food. It's not a hard gig and I get a ton of food, so I love it.
Here's what I got this week: spinach, mixed lettuce greens, delicata squash, turnips, sweet potatoes, beets, broccoli, a dozen eggs, and a pint of blueberry ice cream which smells delicious and is therefore hiding out in my freezer behind some soup bones.

Not pictured: Brussels sprouts I made last night, three turnips I made last night, two sweet potatoes I made this morning, and a bunch of green beans I just forgot about.

The market runs through the third week of November. I will be super mega bummed when the season ends, because FOOD.

Just the Food, Ma'am - 10/6/12

Scrambled egg with peppers,  mushrooms, garlic, and onions.
Two slices of bacon
I forgot the photo. Booooo.

Leftover Delicata Chipotle Chili
Leftover Stuffed Acorn Squash

Orange and Rosemary Pork Chops with Orange Infused Butternut Squash Pasta
Oven baked Brussels sprouts with bacon and mashed turnips from Everyday Paleo

Holy Shit I Want Sugar but You Won't Break Me Snack
Strawberries and coconut butter. Yeah, it worked.

Look at my nails, you guys. LOOK AT THEM.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Just the Food, Ma'am - 10/5/12

Messy ass omelet in a Pure Wrap with Oven Cooked Bacon.
Sugar-free, garbage-free applesauce (not pictured, because I almost swallowed the container whole)
Pu'ehr tea with freeze dried strawberries and a slice of orange
so pretty like flower

I know, I know. This is beyond ugly.

This was a live and learn moment for sure. A lesson to all of you: when you put hot things in a Pure Wrap, eat the damn thing right away or this happens. The poor wrap didn't stand a chance between the hot fillings and my putting it in a ziploc bag. It just disintegrated. But whatever, it was still delicious.

I had made some Oven Cooked Bacon the night before and started out by reheating that in the microwave. I laid out a Pure Wrap so it was ready to roll. I sauteed some bell peppers, sweet onion, green onion, garlic, mushrooms, spinach, and sweet tomatoes in coconut oil respectively until they were tender and sweaty looking.

I seasoned the veggies with an eensy bit of salt and a load of pepper, then poured in two pasture raised eggs I'd whipped up with some coconut milk. I let the eggs set and after a few minutes, flipped them to cook on the other side. Omelet and bacon were added to the wrap, rolled up. Breakfast! Yeah WOO! Too much caffeine.

Paleo Cabbage Rolls
Navel orange
Water with a slice of orange

Maybe I'm cuckoo, but I don't see a temp on that recipe for the cabbage rolls. I used a ground beef/pork/lamb mix and baked mine at 350 for over an hour, so they probably should have baked at 375 or 400 to make the one hour time. Also, mine were in the pan so snugly that the tomato sauce bubbled over. To be safe and avoid having to clean the oven later (UGH), put a rimmed cookie sheet under your baking pan. 

Delicata Chipotle Chili with topped with green onions, cherry tomatoes, and coconut milk.
Stuffed Acorn Squash

Friday, October 5, 2012

Health Fair

So the other day, we were having a health and wellness fair at work. There were nurses there from a local hospital there taking people's blood pressure. My BP had been borderline for a while. I'm overweight, easily excitable, and hypertension runs in my family so it was only a matter of time for the dial to flip to the red unless I started making serious changes.

I let the RN take my BP and she had this look on her face, and I knew it was bad. She took it again, then again, then finally said, "It's 150/100." Sheesh. She told me I needed to see my doctor right away, I was too young to have such high BP, etc. Womp womp.

I saw my doctor yesterday and was unhappy to learn that my weight was at an all time high of 270. I know that the whole BMI thing is kind of stupid because it only takes height and weight into account instead of body frame, volume, bone density, etc., but it still wigged me out to hear her say I was off of the BMI chart, where people who have bariatric surgery are. Screw that.

I'm sure that my new fluffy weight has a lot to do with the prednisone my ENT prescribed me about six weeks ago to reduce inflammation in my sinuses enough to avoid surgery. I'm tapering now and should be done with it by Wednesday of next week.

I agreed to be temporarily placed on BP medication. My goal is to be on it for no more than a year. That is more than enough time for me to get my shit together. I'm getting a full blood panel done mid month in November, where they'll look at my kidney function, cholesterol, and blood sugar.

And now I present you with me today:

Pants are a snug size 20, shirt is a very snug XL. Weight at 270. I'll continue to update on any clothing size changes, but not necessarily weight. That is going to be difficult, so I'm putting my scale in the garage so I'm not tempted. I'd rather eat glass than go in the garage because it's full of spider webs, a spooky dollhouse, and broken dreams.

Oven Cooked Bacon

8-10 slices nitrate-free, sugar-free, otherwise garbage-free bacon

Line a rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper. Lay out bacon slices on the sheet so there's a little space between them. Put in a COLD oven. Set timer for 20 minutes, and turn oven on to 400F. Rotate cookie sheet halfway through. If the bacon doesn't look done enough after 20 minutes, give it an extra minute at a time until it reaches the desired doneness. Place bacon slices on a paper bag or paper towel lined plate. Save that fat - it is delicious. Pour it into a heat-safe container and store in the fridge until you want something to taste extra good by cooking with it.

Once the bacon is all cooled off and degreased, I wrap up two slices at a time in paper towels and store them in the fridge for later. To reheat, pop the paper towel bundled bacon in the microwave for 10-15 seconds. My super awesome microwave from the 1980s in the rental property where I live doesn't have a digital display, but I assume it was around that long since that's about how long it takes to reheat in a microwave that shouldn't be kicked off a cliff.

I like doing this on the weekend because by Wednesday it's like hell yeah, I have bacon.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Paleo Quiche


2 cups almond flour
1/2 cup melted grass fed butter or ghee
1/2 tsp salt

6 eggs
1 tsp coconut oil
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup chopped broccoli
1/2 cup quartered grape tomatoes
1 cup chopped spinach
1/2 cup canned coconut milk
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup grass fed cheese (optional)
1/2 tsp Herbs de Provence
salt and pepper, to taste

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix crust ingredients together in a medium bowl. Press into the sides and bottom of a 9" pie pan. Bake crust for 10-15 minutes, or until golden, remove from oven, and set aside.

Heat coconut oil in a large skillet. Saute onion and garlic until onions are translucent. Add broccoli and saute until crisp tender. Add tomatoes and spinach and saute until spinach is wilted. Let cool completely.

Whisk eggs thoroughly in a large bowl. Add cooled vegetables and whisk thoroughly. Whisk in coconut milk, baking powder, all cheese but 1 tbsp (if using), Herbs de Provence, and salt and pepper. Once mixture is completely combined, pour into pie crust. Top with remaining 1 tbsp cheese (if using).

Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes, or until middle is no longer wobbly.

The awesome thing about this is that you could swap out the vegetables with whatever you have on hand, and even add sausage or bacon crumbles. Delish.